Country image, informational influence, collectivism/individualism, and brand loyalty: exploring the automobile purchase patterns of Chinese Americans

Guohua Wu (Department of Communications, California State University, Fullerton, California, USA)

Journal of Consumer Marketing

ISSN: 0736-3761

Publication date: 3 May 2011

Abstract

Purpose

The intent of this article is to explore the automobile purchase patterns of Chinese Americans by examining factors driving an intriguing phenomenon – most Chinese Americans prefer Japanese or European brands of automobiles over US brands.

Design/methodology/approach

This article uses data from a sample of 150 respondents using a mall‐intercept survey method. Regression, analysis of variance and Chi‐square analysis were employed. The factors examined include country image, informational influence, collectivism/individualism, and brand loyalty.

Findings

This study has four findings. In their automobile purchase decision making, Chinese Americans perceive the country image of Japan most favorably, that of US least favorably, and that of Europe in‐between. Country image is important, but it is less so than other extrinsic cues such as price, brand name and service, with reliability and safety being the most important intrinsic cues. Opinions of family and friends are important, second to prior knowledge and information from consumer reports. Chinese Americans' collectivism is positively related to their susceptibility to interpersonal informational influence, yet their individualism is not. Chinese Americans are not brand loyal.

Practical implications

The article helps automobile marketers refine their marketing mix to attract Chinese American buyers. A reliable and safe automobile is the most important factor that affects their purchase decisions. Media advertising and salespeople have only marginal influence. Therefore the advice is to strengthen or improve interpersonal influence.

Originality/value

No prior research has examined the automobile purchase patterns of Chinese Americans, who, in 2006, constituted 1.2 percent of the US population, with appealing demographics to marketers.

Keywords

Citation

Wu, G. (2011), "Country image, informational influence, collectivism/individualism, and brand loyalty: exploring the automobile purchase patterns of Chinese Americans", Journal of Consumer Marketing, Vol. 28 No. 3, pp. 169-177. https://doi.org/10.1108/07363761111127590

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Publisher

:

Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2011, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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